Ash Grove in 3D: Exploring History through Story Maps and XR Technologies

Authors: Alisa Pettitt*, George Mason University and Fairfax County Park Authority, Sven Fuhrmann, George Mason University
Topics: Historical Geography, Cartography
Keywords: Story Maps, 3D GIS, Archaeology, Ash Grove Historic Site, XR technologies
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download



The Fairfax County Park Authority recently finished archaeological studies at Ash Grove Historic Site, a park in Tysons, Virginia containing an 18th century manor home constructed by members of the county’s founding Fairfax family. Archaeological investigations at the park were completed proceeding the initiation of the county’s Resident Curator program, a program that selects qualified curators to serve as stewards of chosen county historic properties in exchange for residence in a historic home.

Archaeological methods employed during Ash Grove’s 2018 fieldwork melded traditional archaeological practice with current digital collection techniques. Three-dimensional archaeological data was collected through photogrammetry software, 3D scanning, and modeling platforms. This approach allowed to accurately preserve the historic data and facilitated data integration into augmented, mixed and virtual reality (collectively XR) applications. In addition, this data collection approach allowed for the development of Story Maps with 3D elements, providing means of publishing this important historic information to wider audiences. This research showcases different means of sharing spatial elements of archaeological data through platforms such as custom-built XR applications and Story Maps. Through these media Ash Grove’s significant histories are brought to life and provide fresh perspectives to historians and the public alike.

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